The Midterm elections in the US just came to an end recently. While the Democrats scooped victory in the House of Representatives, the Republicans retained the Senate. Media pundits have been quick to argue that Trump could be quickly losing public confidence. However, the President put on brave face sending the message that it was neither a sure win or a complete loss for Republicans.
Compared to other mid-term elections in US history, the 2018 mid-term elections registered a high number of voter turn-out. Naturally, you would want to attribute this to the highly-charged campaigns that clocked the $1bn mark. Election centres that border each other in the US have also been consolidated to create a larger voting centres that are fewer in number. The possible effects of the new voting centres mean many voters not turning out to vote as some will be forced to travel over long distances to cast their ballot. On the contrary, voter statistics in the recent mid elections show a different drift.
In the 2018 US midterm elections, automotive industries brought a new twist into the voter population patterns. Apps for driving companies such as Uber and Lyft chose to offer rides to voters at a discount or for free if found to be residing in low state communities. Unlike previous midterms where such services were not offered, voters across different states found it easier to cast their ballot. Lyft carried voters to their polling stations at a 50% discount while Uber riders saved $10 for a single ride to polling centres.
Impact of Uber and Lyft to Voter turnout
Interestingly, it appears the youth in America were the biggest beneficiaries of the discounted riding services from Uber and Lyft. Statistical data from credible sources reveal that the youth turnout increased from 24%, the highest ever recorded to 31% in 2018. The all-time high record represents the millions of youth aged between 18-29 that voted in the different states during the midterm elections. Given an opportunity to vote, youth can greatly shape the future of America. Their enthusiasm and engagement were evident as many voted in favor of the Democrats. Statistics say it all.
- In the house races, 67% of the youth voted for a Democratic candidate compared to only 32% who voted for a Republican candidate.
- Some states also revealed a new trend where the youth made a firm decision on the choice of their candidates. Nevada elections had a high number of youth accounting for 19% of the voter turnout as compared to the previous.
The young voters supported Democratic candidates in both the Senate and Gubernatorial races. For the senate race, the Democratic candidate garnered 67% against his arch-rival that garnered 30%. The trend was the same as with that of the Governors; where the Democratic candidate got 62% against 31% for the Republican.
Impact in 2020 Elections
If this trend is bound to continue, where ride-hailing applications can change the trend of voter turnout, 2020 could be the year of reckoning in the US’ political history. With Uber and Lyft in the picture, similar automotive companies could choose to ferry riders as well. Chances are high more youth with a penchant to vote for Democratic candidates could give the US its next President.